Introduction

The FIS / mpm application has been developed specifically for organisations with SAP ERP who face processing issues when adding new or maintaining existing master data or alternatively wish to upload large data volumes.

FIS  / mpm is an “SAP centric” technology with FIS proprietary applications running on SAP standards (i.e. with familiar SAP GUIs and NetWeaver interfaces) as an add-on application, deeply integrated into SAP standard (releases are available for both either SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA infrastructures).

The technology also works with extended “z-tables” in the SAP ERP database, therefore eliminating the need for file exchanges and data mapping between SAP and non-integrated software.

One of the primary utilisations of the FIS / mpm application is to address the issue of master data governance.

FIS / mpm provides a clear method of controlling master data updates for all participants in pre-defined roles.

Conceptual Diagram of FIS / mpm with SAP ERP Integration

Identifying Most Common Processing Issues

In our initial discussions with several clients we identified common recurrences of frustrations when creating data in SAP.

These included organisations that:

  • spent a lot of time using email as a workflow tool
  • work with very complex and bespoke Excel spreadsheets that are difficult to maintain
  • process data that includes detailed data completion notes
  • required bespoke coding
  • work with external applications that exchange files with SAP standard which caused issues with table synchronisation with SAP upgrades/enhancement packs

Issues with non-defined roles meant that some employees that may have the most expertise of the data (i.e. for vendors, customers, materials, prices etc)  may not be aware of the stringent requirements of SAP. In practice this usually results in data omissions, invalid fields and further errors. Secondly, the SAP team members may have knowledge of the strict master data stipulations of SAP but may have less knowledge of the core data that is being added or maintained. In many instances the senior master data teams were often spending time correcting minor errors from initiators.

In many instances here was no pre-defined roles or controlled workflow routes/sequences.

 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

 

Roles and Processes Defined

In an effort to resolve the most common issues, FIS / mpm defines typical roles (Initiators, Enrichers, SAP Key-users, SAP Power-users etc) and workflow procedures for SAP ERP master data. This means that data is reviewed by the correct people and in a stringent process and workflow – good controls in the way master data is added and maintained. FIS / mpm addresses the core issues by defining the common tasks within the process and then providing a methodology controlled by the SAP master data team.

  • FIS / mpm provides an easy-to-use web technology at the source for the data initiators – significantly reducing the number of fields for completion, identifying mandatory fields and provides drop down choice alternatives for data import
  • Bulk uploads can created from FIS / mpm by defining Excel worksheets with clearly labelled tables
  • The Web Dynpro workflow allows checking by a supervisor (if necessary) or can be extended to other participants with master data knowledge
  • The FIS / mpm application also validates fields for feasibility and completeness before advancing to the SAP supervisors
  • SAP stewards work in a familiar SAP environment within FIS / mpm.
  • The FIS / mpm staging area is a workplace that provides a checking area before releasing of master-data into SAP.

Summary

For organisations who wish to save time and effort when creating new or maintaining existing master data within SAP.

For organisations who wish to create clear roles and governance for master data changes and additions.

An alternative to:

  • Complex forms and Excel sheets for participants with data expertise moving backwards and forwards between SAP stewards
  • Using Email as a workflow – no clear governance on processes – process unlikely to capture all necessary data comprehensively
  • Tasking SAP experts with minor data management issues
  • Inefficient methods of data management handling in SAP

Key technologies and benefits:

  • Versions available for both SAP ECC 6 or SAP S/4HANA
  • WebDynpro workflow – allows participants with minimal SAP expertise create new and maintain master data
  • Ability to ensure clear governance of roles and responsibilities – from initiation to final SAP release
  • Allows bulk upload of master data (Excel) as well as single records
  • Provides intelligent data validation checks prior to transfer into the FIS / mpm staging area
  • FIS / mpm staging area provides final checking of data before release into SAP ERP
  • Automatic reports to show the success of data transfers into SAP ERP
  • Timed events to release data from FIS / mpm staging area into SAP ERP

FIS / mpm components

FIS / mpm is currently available in English, German and French with further versions available on request.

Releases available for SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA

  • Article master, purchasing info records and source list
  • Vendor master
  • Customer master
  • Bill of materials
  • Document Maintenance
  • Conditions
  • Sales Functions